Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The "Spanx" Recovery

I recently saw a profile of the 40 yr old billionaire founder of Spanx.  Her innovative use of spandex has allowed millions of women (and now men) to skip that trip to the gym and have an extra slice of cake because the Spanx will hide all of your flaws.

Well, that feels a lot like watching the stock market hit new cycle highs every day.  Stocks have opened the year on a tear again this year (the third year in a row) without any real catalyst.  Gas prices are soaring and Walmart is wondering "Where are all the customers?", but have no fear the world's central banks will act as Spanx for the global economy and keep the markets marching higher.  Many, many indicators look just like 2007 - high complacency, low volatility, everyone on one side of the trade.... well, we remember how that ended up. 

I don't have a specific catalyst in mind but the market has moved in one direction without a catalyst and it may not need one to reverse course.  As Goldman said today - There was no obvious catalyst and there was no bullish data, but stocks went up.  Sometimes it's best not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

If fundamentals mattered you might care to take note of the fact that freight shipment volumes have fallen for 4 straight months and are back to their lowest levels in 2 years.  However, that would imply that the market cares about what is really happening in the real world.


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